Cities in Support of Boycotting Arizona

Many U.S. cities across this nation have taken a respectable stance against the state of Arizona for its “immigration law.”

Austin, TX became the latest in a growing list of cities that are boycotting Arizona in some capacity to protest the law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local law enforcement to ask for documentation from people they suspect are in the country illegally.

A List of Great Cities in Support of Boycotting Arizona (or are considering to boycott AZ and its so-called immigration law):


Los Angeles, CA


San Francisco, CA

Madison, WI

Austin, TX

West Hollywood, CA

Boston, MA

Oakland, CA

El Paso, TX

St. Paul, MN

Springfield, MA

Worcester, MA

Washington D.C.

Milwaukee, WI

Chicago, IL

NYC, NY

Boulder, CO

St. Paul, MN

Tacoma, WA

Lawrence, MA

Amherst, MA

Sacramento, CA

Baldwin Park, CA

South el Monte, CA

Santa Cruz, CA

And the list continues to grow!

“ClimateGate” and the Biased Conservative Media

Have you heard the latest right-wing, anti-environmentalist talking point?

ClimateGate

Tony Hake of The San Francisco Examiner was one of the first to break the real story on the web:

Britain’s Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, suffered a data breach in recent days when a hacker apparently broke into their system and made away with thousands of emails and documents. The stolen data was then posted to a Russian server and has quickly made the rounds among climate skeptics.

The electronic break in itself has been verified by the director of the research unit, Professor Phil Jones. He told Britain’s Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition “It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”

Update, 3:45pm MDT: In regards to the authenticity, not one report disputing the veracity of the emails has come out. Many sources have talked to some of the email authors and they have not disputed the messages.

Megan McArdle commented on the matter under pressure from her readers at The Atlantic:

I’d say that the charge that climate skeptics “are not published in peer reviewed journals” just lost most of its power as an argument against the skeptics. But I don’t see any reason to think that the AGW scientists have actually falsified data to create a consensus reality which is known to be false-to-fact. What I see is that the people who are the custodians of the currently dominant paradigm have an unhealthy ability to exclude people who might challenge that paradigm from expressing those views in important forums. Powerful scientists using their power to marginalize anyone who might challenge the authority of them, or their views, is sadly not uncommon in the history of science.

That doesn’t mean their paradigm is wrong; rather, it means we need to be less romantic about the practice of science. No scientific consensus is ever as powerful as its proponents claim, because no scientists are ever as perfect as we’d like to imagine.

Wired.com has covered the issue from mainly an internet-based perspective:

The stolen cache includes more than 1,000 e-mails and more than 3,000 documents, some containing code. They were posted anonymously to an FTP server in Russia. The hacker then posted a link to the 61-MB file of data on the blog Air Vent.

The hacker’s message that accompanied the link read: “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents.”

The e-mails, which cover a decade of correspondence, are getting a lot of attention among bloggers who point to statements in them that they say suggest the scientists colluded and manipulated data to support their global warming viewpoints.

Bloggers allege that an e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that reality contradicts scientific claims about global warming.

But Trenberth, who acknowledged the e-mail is genuine, says bloggers are missing the point he’s making in the e-mail by not reading the article cited in it. That article – An Imperative for Climate Change Planning — actually says that global warming is continuing, despite random temperature variations that would seem to suggest otherwise.

The right-wing biased media sources and persons were sure to spread this around as solid truth, and most likely have no interest in considering the source of these emails as well the entirely of the body of science rather than a single entity.

To wrap a bow on the bias dripping over every inch of conservative-media from Fox News to Real Clear Politics here is a real-time political polling statistic from RCP:

Direction of Country — RCP Average

Right Direction

37.7

Wrong Track

57.2

Spread -19.5

The “wrong track” is getting more and more obvious to more and more Americans by the day to be the conservative ideology, and these numbers they reluctantly post are growing proof that I am right about this assertion.

When it comes to rushing to interpret the facts without any level of rational approach and spreading self-superior biased media they are still the all time champions.

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

I remind you that this bill this not the final bill, which will ultimately require presidential signature to pass into law.
And that I’m not a journalist nor a lawyer.
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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. DINGELL (for himself, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. GEORGE MILLER
of California, Mr. STARK, Mr. PALLONE, and Mr. ANDREWS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on _____. 

A BILL

 

 

To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’’.

GENERAL DEFINITIONS.

PURPOSE.—

IN GENERAL.—The purpose of this division is to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending.

BUILDING ON CURRENT SYSTEM.—This division achieves this purpose by building on what works in today’s health care system, while repairing the aspects that are broken.

INSURANCE REFORMS.—This division enacts strong insurance market reforms; creates a new Health Insurance Exchange, with a public health insurance option alongside private plans; includes sliding scale affordability credits; and initiates shared responsibility among workers, employers, and the government; so that all Americans have coverage of essential health benefits.

((“alongside private plans” means this most certainly is not a government takeover of health insurance. “sliding scale affordability“ means that lower income individuals on the government option will pay less, unlike private insurance plans.))

Subtitle A—General Standards

IN GENERAL.—The premium rate charged for an insured qualified health benefits plan may not vary except as follows:

LIMITED AGE VARIATION PERMITTED.—By age (within such age categories as the Commissioner shall specify) so long as the ratio of the highest such premium to the lowest such premium does not exceed the ratio of 2 to 1.

BY AREA.—By premium rating area (as permitted by State insurance regulators or, in the case of Exchange-participating health benefits plans, as specified by the Commissioner in consultation with such regulators).

BY FAMILY ENROLLMENT.—By family enrollment (such as variations within categories and compositions of families) so long as the ratio of the premium for family enrollment (or enrollments) to the premium for individual enrollment is uniform, as specified under State law and consistent with rules of the Commissioner.

((At this stage the bill puts a great many stipulations unto the Commissioner while retaining the existing powers of State law and insurance regulators.))

SEC. 142. DUTIES AND AUTHORITY OF COMMISSIONER.

DUTIES.—The Commissioner is responsible for carrying out the following functions under this division:

QUALIFIED PLAN STANDARDS.—The establishment of qualified health benefits plan standards under this title, including the enforcement of such standards in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury.

HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE.—The establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange under subtitle A of title II.

INDIVIDUAL AFFORDABILITY CREDITS.— The administration of individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II, including determination of eligibility for such credits.

IN GENERAL.—The Commissioner shall undertake activities in accordance with this subtitle to promote accountability of QHBP offering entities in meeting Federal health insurance requirements, regardless of whether such accountability is with respect to qualified health benefits plans offered through the Health Insurance Exchange or outside of such Exchange.

COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION AND AUDITS.—

IN GENERAL.—The Commissioner shall, in coordination with States, conduct audits of qualified health benefits plan compliance with Federal requirements. Such audits may include random compliance audits and targeted audits in response to complaints or other suspected non-compliance.

RECOUPMENT OF COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH EXAMINATION AND AUDITS.—The Commissioner is authorized to recoup from qualified health benefits plans reimbursement for the costs of such examinations and audit of such QHBP offering entities.

DATA COLLECTION.—The Commissioner shall collect data for purposes of carrying out the Commissioner’s duties, including for purposes of promoting quality and value, protecting consumers, and addressing disparities in health and health care and may share such data with the Secretary of Health and Human Services

SANCTIONS AUTHORITY.—

IN GENERAL.—In the case that the Commissioner determines that a QHBP offering entity violates a requirement of this title, the Commissioner may, in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretary of Labor, provide, in addition to any other remedies authorized by law, for any of the remedies described in paragraph

REMEDIES.—The remedies described in this paragraph, with respect to a qualified health benefits plan offered by a QHBP offering entity, are— (A) civil money penalties of not more than the amount that would be applicable under similar circumstances for similar violations under section 1857(g) of the Social Security Act; suspension of enrollment of individuals under such plan after the date the Commissioner notifies the entity of a determination under paragraph (1) and until the Commissioner is satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur;SEC. 2714.

ENSURING VALUE AND LOWER PREMIUMS.

IN GENERAL.—Each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the small or large group market shall provide that for any plan year in which the coverage has a medical loss ratio below a level specified by the Secretary, the issuer shall provide in a manner specified by the Secretary for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio. Such methodology shall be set at the highest level medical loss ratio possible that is designed to ensure adequate participation by issuers, competition in the health insurance market, and value for consumers so that their premiums are used for services.

(“ensure adequate participation by issuers” is the key concept to understand.)

UNIFORM DEFINITIONS.—The Secretary shall establish a uniform definition of medical loss ratio and methodology for determining how to calculate the medical loss ratio. Such methodology shall be designed to take into account the special circumstances of smaller plans, different types of plans, and newer plans.The provisions of section 2714 shall apply to health insurance coverage offered in the individual market in the same manner as such provisions apply to health insurance coverage offered in the small or large group market.

IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION.—The amendments made by this section shall apply in the group and individual market for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.SEC. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE

TRANSACTIONS.STANDARDS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.—

IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall adopt and regularly update standards consistent with the goals described in paragraph (2).

(2) GOALS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.—The goals for standards under paragraph (1) are that such standards shall be unique with no conflicting or redundant standards; be authoritative, permitting no additions or constraints for electronic transactions, including companion guides; be comprehensive, efficient and robust, requiring minimal augmentation by paper transactions or clarification by further communications; enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card; enable, where feasible, near real-time adjudication of claims; provide for timely acknowledgment, response, and status reporting applicable to any electronic transaction deemed appropriate by the Secretary; describe all data elements (such as reason and remark codes) in unambiguous terms, not permit optional fields, require that data elements be either required or conditioned upon set values in other fields, and prohibit additional conditions; and harmonize all common data elements across administrative and clinical transaction standards.

TIME FOR ADOPTION.—Not later than years after the date of implementation of the X12 Version 5010 transaction standards implemented under this part, the Secretary shall adopt standards under this section.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC STANDARDS.—The standards under this section shall be developed, adopted and enforced so as to— (A) clarify, refine, complete, and expand, as needed, the standards required under section 1173; (B) require paper versions of standardized transactions to comply with the same standards as to data content such that a fully compliant, equivalent electronic transaction can be populated from the data from a paper version; (C) enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice; (D) require timely and transparent claim and denial management processes, including tracking, adjudication, and appeal processing; (E) require the use of a standard electronic transaction with which health care providers may quickly and efficiently enroll with a health plan to conduct the other electronic transactions provided for in this part; and (F) provide for other requirements relating to administrative simplification as identified by the Secretary, in consultation with stake holders.

BUILDING ON EXISTING STANDARDS.—In developing the standards under this section, the Secretary shall build upon existing and planned standards.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT.—Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a plan for the implementation and enforcement, by not later than 5 years after such date of enactment, of the standards under this section.

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Sara Palin Resigns From Office

1.palin2

Former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, and soon to be former Governor of Alaska, Sara Palin has decided to walk away from her responsibilities as governor as well as her obligations to those who voted her into office.

Whatever her reasons may be she is electing to be extremely vague and elusive, leaving the speculation running wild. It’s possible the ethics probes are the reason. It’s possible she is fed up with political partisan bickering and propagandizing.

Whatever the reason the fact remains that this representative is walking away from her responsibilities and setting a terrible example to the nation in terms of governorship.

Governor Mark Sanford Scandal

 

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“It‘s a love story. A tragic one, a forbidden one ..”

Mark Sanford expressed in a recent interview that he felt that his Argentine mistress was his ’soul mate’ and noted a sense of mortality surrounding his decision to commit adultery on his wife. But in the same interview he revealed that this was not his only mistress but was the only woman other than his wife in which he engaged in intercourse with.

To me this notion of a fleeting sense of your own mortality that the governor eluded to would not be any sort of excuse to commit adultery but rather a reason to strongly consider divorce and pursue a new life with this newfound ‘soul mate’ in Argentina. Even more so if he was violating his marriage vows with other women already.

More than anything else Governor Mark Sanford proved today to the discerning public that he holds no regard whatsoever for his wife and his marriage.

Be it maintaining his public imagine and political position or simply caring more for his carnal desires than he does for his commitment to his wife.

In regards to the resignation of Mark Sanford from office I have a neutral opinion. If the people of South Carolina believe he should do this, then he is obliged to do so immediately. Otherwise I think the entire scandal simply goes to character.

The character of Governor Mark Sanford is clear to any who care to know.

What irritates me is the likes of Lindsey Graham coming forth to declare Mark Sanford as ‘only human’ in an attempt to elevate the character of the governor for what I believe are purely political motives.

The stain of poor character sheds itself only to a small degree to The Republican Party. Yet their representatives insist on standing up for a man who pursued his ‘forbidden love’ in place of his marriage at the cost to his family and his character in the public arena.

This man is a disgrace and I send my personal condolences to his wife and his children.